Table of ContentsGraduate Assistant Program Request Forms
- Project Vista Graduate Assistantship Program
- GA Hiring Process
- Procedures for Requesting and Hiring GA’s
I. Project Vista Graduate Assistantship Program
Generally speaking, graduate assistantships serve several functions. First, they provide graduate students with a part-time, paid work experience. This experience is usually directly related to their field of study and will allow them to expand and/or apply their discipline knowledge and skills under supervision. Second, they provide CI faculty assistance in carrying out special projects or other assignments that require the advanced discipline skills of graduate students. Consequently, graduate assistants (henceforth referred to as GA’s) facilitate direct interaction between faculty and graduate students through a unique educational experience while providing faculty more opportunity to fulfill their teaching, service and scholarship responsibilities.
In keeping with such generally established purposes for GA’s, the Project Vista Graduate Assistantship Program (funded through a U.S. Department of Education Title V-HSI grant for promoting post baccalaureate opportunities for Hispanic Americans) does not exist primarily to support faculty teaching, scholarship and scholarship; rather, its primary purpose is to provide CI faculty with opportunities to mentor historically under-represented, under-served students in graduate school for whom traditional measures of academic success (e.g., GPA) may not be indicative of scholastic strengths and potential. Given the many obstacles to graduate school that typically exist for low income students, first-generation college students, and/or students of color, the Project Vista Graduate Assistant Program is explicitly designed to encourage nontraditional pathways for students to access assistantship opportunities.
In all cases, the activities assigned are to have educational value for the graduate student and are not to be used in lieu of hiring student employees for clerical and office support. The opportunities provided to graduate students assigned a Graduate Assistantship clearly enhance the graduate student’s experience, enriches their education, and broadens their range of professional skills.
CI is committed to an open, well-advertised process of announcing positions and hiring graduate assistants. Each program with approved Graduate Assistantships will publicize them, and ensure that qualified applicants for these positions are offered an opportunity to apply. Available Graduate Assistantships should be advertised in recruitment materials, on the web site of the program offering the Graduate Assistantships, and on the Student Employment electronic job board. In addition, the Office of Project VISTA will either post or provide a web-link for every Graduate Assistantship.
To qualify for a GA appointment at CI, the student must be fully admitted and enrolled as a degree-seeking student in a CI graduate program at the time of appointment. Confirmations of admittance/enrollment will be obtained prior to the GA appointment and will be conducted by the supervisor faculty and reported to the Project Vista Coordinator. A copy of the acceptance letter will be provided to the Project Vista Coordinator by the admitting program (i.e., School of Education for stateside MA program and Extended University for self support programs) prior to any appointment. International students who are on a visa that allows them to work are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to low-income applicants (as defined by FAFSA). Graduate Assistants are limited to working with faculty within their respective graduate programs.
GA Rules & Responsibilities:
GA’s are expected to perform all duties and conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. It is important that lines of communication remain open between the GA and his/her faculty supervisor. The following are professional protocols applicable to GA’s:
- Work Schedule: Each GA must schedule his/her work hours with their faculty supervisor. If a change in the original hours is requested by the GA it is subject to approval by his/her faculty supervisor. Depending on the assignment, work schedules can be flexible. However, during the academic year when the graduate student is enrolled in classes, a GA shall only work up to 20 hours a week. GA’s may work more than 20 hours per week during academic breaks.
- Work Location: GA’s and their faculty supervisors will agree on the work location. For example, GA’s may perform their duties in the library, at home, or at a community location.
- Tardiness: It is expected that all GA’s will call his/her faculty supervisor to inform him/her of any tardiness and changes in their work schedule. The faculty supervisor may coordinate make up time for any lost work hours due to tardiness.
- Timesheets: Timesheets will be given to all GA’s by < >. It is their responsibility to enter their hours, sign the timesheet, obtain approval from their faculty supervisor and submit it to the Project Vista Coordinator at the end of each month. Due dates of timesheets will be provided by the Project Vista Coordinator to ensure timely pay warrant processing.
- Absences: GA’s are expected to inform the faculty supervisor about any absence. GA’s are encouraged tomake up their time accordingly and coordinate this time with the faculty supervisor.
- Continued Appointment Eligibility: A student must remain in good academic standing and must have satisfactorily performedthe assigned duties to be eligible for a renewal of the appointment.
Evaluation of GA’s:
Faculty supervisors will complete at least one evaluation per appointment, preferably at the midpoint of the assistantship, for each GA. If a poor performance evaluationis given, please contact Faculty Affairs.
The faculty supervisor must communicate, in writing, evaluation criteria, schedule and procedures for written evaluations to the GA within the first fourteen (14) days of the appointment period. Generally, this information will be reviewed as part of the GA orientation meeting conducted by the Project Vista Director and Project Vista Coordinator. It is the responsibility of the Project Vista Coordinator to notify the Unit 11 Chapter Representative of the dates/times/locations of all GA orientations at least 10 days prior to the commencement of each orientation. The Union shall be provided 20 minutes to present Union information at the orientations. Faculty supervisors are encouraged to refer to Article 8 of the Unit 11 CBA for additional information specific to employment evaluations and confirm with Faculty Affairs.
GA’s do not accrue sick leave. If a GA will miss work, they must contact the faculty supervisor prior to their scheduled work shift. The faculty supervisor may make arrangements for the student to make up missed time. The GA should also notify the Project Vista Coordinator as well.
International GA Appointments:
Offers of appointment to international students must be coordinated with the Center of International Affairs at CI. The Coordinator of Project Vista will work with the center to advise international students with GA appointments on employment issues related to visa status. International students must go the Center for International Affairs (CIA) at CI to verify all documentation.
At times, a GA may have a concern or file a grievance related to their position. GA-related disputes or concerns should be directed to the faculty supervisor and/or Project Vista Director who will consult with the Faculty Affairs Office.
II. GA Hiring Process
Background Information for Faculty Supervisors
The hiring of GA’sis regulated by the Unit 11 CBA. The current CBA covers the period of November 9, 2010 through September 30, 2013 and may be accessed at: http://www.calstate.edu/LaborRel/Contracts_HTML/CBA_Contract/index.shtml
Care must be taken to ensure that the Agreement, as well as CSU System-wide Classification and Qualification Standards are upheld. These can be accessed at: http://www.calstate.edu/HRAdm/Classification/R11/Graduate_Assistant.pdf
The University is required by the Unit 11 CBA to advertise open positions for GA’s when they become available. Open hire positions are those positions available for currently enrolled and admitted students. The Project Vista Coordinator will work with Faculty Affairs to post online positions. Interested students should be directed to the online position posting located at: https://www.csucifacultyjobs.com.
GA Position Description Templates are available on the Faculty Affairs website at Academic Student Employees - Unit 11. The Position Description Template will be used by the Project Vista Coordinator to post approved GA positions. Faculty Affairs will review the position descriptions online as submitted and will work with the Coordinator in completing the necessary paperwork for appointments. The Coordinator will work with Faculty Affairs in submitting the required hiring documents to ensure timely processing of appointments. The Coordinator will email Faculty Affairs when online postings should be closed.
Successful GA’s will be selected from the online position postings based on qualifications and requirements of the position. The interview and hiring processes will be completed in accordance with University hiring guidelines. The Project Vista Coordinator will assist with the coordination of the interview and selection of final candidates.
GAs are paid for hours worked and receive five pay warrants for each semester appointment (Fall: Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan; Spring: Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun), and submit timesheets (634’s) on a monthly basis substantiating the hours worked as indicated on their appointment letters. GA’s may be hired at any salary within the appropriate range below:
Classifications & Salary of Graduate Assistants
Salary Range Minimum
Graduate Assistant – Semester (Appointments coinciding with the AY only)
Graduate Assistant – Monthly/Hourly
(Appointments that do not coincide with the AY, i.e., Extended University)
Graduate Assistant – Federal Work Study
Appointment Letters, Conditions of Appointment & Evaluation
Per the CBA, no GA shall be deemed appointed in the absence of an official written notification and the GA’s acceptance within the timelines established by the notification. The Project Vista Coordinator is responsible for working with Faculty Affairs to ensure that the appropriate paperwork has been completed. The Coordinator will submit the documentation to hire GA’s to Faculty Affairs. Faculty Affairs will submit the appropriate documentation to Human Resources Programs. Each GA must complete the sign-in process with Human Resources Programs prior to reporting for work. GA’s are to receive documentation that outlines the specific duties of appointment, specifically the Position Description and the Description of Duties Form. Faculty supervisors are responsible for working with the Project Vista Director in completing Position Descriptions for GAs. Position Description Templates are located on the Faculty Affairs website at: Academic Student Employees - Unit 11. Once the Project Vista Director has reviewed the Position Descriptions, the Project Vista Coordinator will submit the online Position Descriptions via the website. Designated faculty supervisors will be given guest user access to begin the review of applications.
The Faculty Supervisor will submit to the Project Vista Director a written justificationensuring that the required qualifications of the position posting were met, how they ensured a fair, unbiased selection process, and how the hiring process promotes the goals of Project Vista. The Project Vista Director will submit the appropriate documents to recommend qualified applicants to Faculty Affairs for approval. Faculty Affairs will work with the Project Vista Coordinator who will generate the appropriate documents including applications and required supporting documents associated with the position, requisitions, appointment letters, and position descriptions/duties forms. The Coordinator will distribute the appropriate hiring paperwork to the successful candidates for the GA position. Once the appropriate paperwork has been obtained by the Coordinator, it will be submitted to Faculty Affairs for approval. Faculty Affairs will submit the appropriate hiring paperwork to Human Resources Programs and the GA’s will complete the appropriate sign-in paperwork with Human Resources Programs prior to reporting to work.
Restrictions on Total Workload
- GAs may not be concurrently employed in any non-student classification (i.e., Lecturer,
Substitute, Special Consultant, Extended Learning Instructor, or Staff position).
GA’s are limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week of total employment while the student is enrolled in classes during the academic year. GA’s may work more than 20 hours per weeks during academic breaks, if approved by the Faculty Supervisor.
- GA’s employed for less than 20 hours per week may be appointed concurrently in another student classification up to a combined total of approximately 20 hours per week.
- GAs may not be concurrently employed in any non-student classification (i.e., Lecturer, Substitute, Special Consultant, Extended Learning Instructor, or Staff position).
III. Procedures for Requesting and Hiring GA’s
- Project Vista will communicate the availability of current Graduate Assistantships
funded by Project Vista Grant to each graduate program at CI and provide the following:
- Project Vista Graduate Assistant Request Form
- Position Description Template (PD)
- Rubric used by the Project Vista Learning Community (PVLC) Student-Faculty Research group for evaluating GA requests and identifying faculty supervisors
- Steps for faculty interested in hiring a GA:
- Notify the Program Chair prior to requesting a GA.
- Review the Project Vista Graduate Assistantship Policy.
- Complete the Project Vista Graduate Assistant Request Form and a GA Position Description for your project. (A generic template for the Position Description is available at Academic Student Employees - Unit 11).
- Submit your Request Form and Position Description to the Project Vista Coordinator by the publicized due date.
- Project Vista Review and Notification Process
- The Project Vista GA Program review committee will be made up of the members of the PVLC Student-Faculty Research group.
- The review committee will review requests and make recommendations to the Project Vista Director regarding funding priorities.
- The Project Vista Director will notify requesting faculty and their program chairs regarding the status of each request.
- Hiring Process for Funded Requests
- Faculty Supervisor works with Project Vista Director to finalize Position Description.
- Project Vista Coordinator posts approved positions and provides online access for Faculty Supervisors.
- Faculty Supervisors review applications of potential candidates and select applicants to interview.
- Faculty Supervisors conduct interviews and make selection recommendation of hire to Project Vista Director
- Project Vista Director approves the appointment and the Coordinator prepares appropriate hiring paperwork (including Description of Duties Form).
- Project Vista Director advertises and holds orientation for GA hires.